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Sunday, 22 September, 2002, 05:31 GMT 06:31 UK
US 'video assault' mum surrenders
Madelyne Toogood with her daughter Martha
Toogood had argued in a local department store
A US woman caught on a shopping centre surveillance tape apparently beating her daughter has turned herself to police, ending a national manhunt lasting several days.

Madelyne Toogood, 26, and her lawyer arrived at a police station in Mishawaka, Indiana, in a convoy of cars on Saturday. Her four-year-old daughter Martha was in the same group of vehicles.

Madelyne Toogood
Toogood was "remorseful", said her lawyer
Police began the hunt after the release of the tape which seemed to show Ms Toogood slap and shake Martha, before punching her in the face more than a dozen times in her car, which was parked in a shopping centre car park.

She was formally charged with battery on a child, and released on bail of $5,000, after being interviewed for an hour.

Martha was examined by doctors and was apparently in good health.

"She seems to be doing fine," said local prosecutor Christopher Toth.

"Our main concern was to get her back here safely."

The child has been placed temporarily with foster parents, while her two sons, aged five and six, are being looked after by their father.

Ms Toogood complained that the decision to place her child with social services was unfair.

"Why is my child paying? It's my fault, so she shouldn't pay for it," she said.

Ms Toogood could now face three years in prison, if found guilty.

'Bad choice'

Ms Toogood had reportedly become angry after being refused a cash refund for some goods at a Kohl's department store on 13 September.


She is a devoted mother... she has never acted out any type of physical violence or mental violence

Lawyer Steven Rosen
She had been asked to leave the shopping centre after she unsuccessfully attempted to return the items.

A surveillance camera in the centre's car park then followed Ms Toogood as she, her daughter and two other children as well as her sister left the building, where it filmed the alleged assault.

But Ms Toogood's lawyer, Steven Rosen, said the tape's shocking contents, which have been widely televised throughout the country, had been put out of context.

"It was a bad choice, and it was captured on candid camera," he said.

Video still showing Toogood with her daughter in their car
The tape was televised across the US
"She is a devoted mother... she has never acted out any type of physical violence or mental violence.

"She is very remorseful. She regrets it."

Ms Toogood's sister, Margaret Daly, has been arrested and charged with failing to report child abuse and with assisting a criminal.

It has also transpired that Ms Toogood has an outstanding arrest warrant issued in Fort Worth, Texas in April this year for theft.

See also:

09 Jul 02 | Americas
13 Jul 02 | Americas
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